Sustainable plastic plays a major part in Denmarks biggest infrastructure project

Nov 25, 2021 | Case |

When habitation for the workers at the Fermerm-connection in Denmark has to be constructed, sustainability is a factor. EMS and Uponor will solve the drinking and waste water situation with a sustainable plastic solution that benefits the climate,  maintenance, economy and durability.

The Femern connection is a 18 kilometer long tunnel between Rødbyhavn on the Danish island, Lolland, and Femern in Germany. The tunnel will take years to construct and thus living facilities for the workers and project teams are being established so that they can live basically on site while the project is ongoing. 

 EMS won the tender on securing clean drinking water and sanitary accommodations for the crews, with Uponor, plastic specialists, as subcontractor

 “It is not just a construction site. It is a place of residence for about 1500 workers that are moving their lives to Rødbyhavn to work on the largest construction project in Danish history. That is why it is such a necessity to secure clean drinking water and sanitary accommodations 24/7. We are very proud to be a part of such a comprehensive project,” said Bent Rønfeldt, project engineer at Uponor Infra, supplier of the plastic tanks at the staff accommodations as well as the factory where they live and work.

 The industrial harbor at Rødbyhavn will be the largest of its kind in all of northern Europe. That is why waste and drinking water must be transported through long distances. That takes and immense amount of energy, thus Uponor has to deliver a very compact solution. 


Plastic is the sustainable choice

The pipes being used at the Femern connection is estimated at 100 years durability and required zero maintenance. That is economically smart both in the short and in the long run. Especially because after the Femern connection is completed, the factory will continue to produce tunnel elements for future projects.

“The original plan was to use steel tanks, but with plastic vi can shorten both delivery and installation time and secure a durable solution through the entirety of the project. Furthermore, it requires no concrete foundation when the pipes have to be halfway immerged. We could install our tank controls on the finished tanks before delivery to the construction site. The choice to go with Uponors plastic solution was in all aspects the most sustainable and the best economical solution,” said Tom Sørensen, project manager at EMS. 

 EMS is usually primarily supplier to the oil and gas industry, the energy industry, the wind industry and the Power-to-X process plants. This time we have chosen a plastic solution which further shows that the material can be implemented in many places where the go-to solution normally would be steel. Plastic has an impressive longevity, is chemically resistant and requires minimal maintenance and it thus an obvious replacement for steel pipes. The plastic tanks do not require maintenance and inspection whatsoever.  

 When the workers village in Rødbyhavn is established, the new partnership between Uponor and EMS continues on to work on the factory, where construction to the tunnel continues. The collaboration between the two companies is only the beginning in a forward-looking partnership that will cater to several different industries.